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Blue Jays reportedly sign free agent Kendrys Morales to three-year contract

Kendrys Morales, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals, has reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lenny Ignelzi/AP

It's barely a week into the off-season, but the Toronto Blue Jays appear to have been busy.

The team has reportedly signed free-agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales.

Multiple reports Friday said Morales and the team had agreed to a three-year, $33-million (U.S.) contract.

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The 33-year-old Morales is a 10-year MLB veteran who has played for the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

He batted .263 with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs for Kansas City in 2016.

Morales is a native of Cuba who has a .275 career batting average with 132 home runs. He has made the post-season four times – including three straight years with the Angels from 2007-09 – and was a member of the Royals' 2015 World Series winning team.

The Jays have also reportedly signed Cuban free-agent infield prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Multiple reports on Friday said the team and Gurriel had agreed to a "multiyear deal."

The 23-year-old was declared a free agent by MLB in August.

Gurriel, the younger brother of Houston Astros infielder Yulieski Gurriel, has a career .277 batting average over 1,098 career plate appearances in Cuba's Serie Nacional.

He batted .344 with a .407 on-base percentage in Cuba last season with a career-high 10 home runs and 53 RBIs in 59 games.

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Elsewhere in the majors, Atlanta took another step to becoming an older team as the Braves and free-agent right-hander Bartolo Colon have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal worth $12.5-million.

The 43-year-old Colon went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA last season for the New York Mets and was named to the National League all-star team.

The portly Dominican owns a 232-162 record over 19 major-league seasons. He has the third-most victories among Latin American pitchers behind Nicaraguan Dennis Martinez (245) and Dominican Juan Marichal (243).

The agreement with Colon came one day after Atlanta reached a deal with 42-year-old right-handed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Atlanta will become the first team with two starters in their 40s since the 1990 Texas Rangers.

Howie Kendrick, who was unhappy with his role with Los Angeles, got his wish to leave town as the Dodgers traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.

The 33-year-old Kendrick, who can play second base or left field, will earn $10-million in 2017 and will be a free agent after the season.

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Kendrick had his worst season in the majors in 2016, hitting .255 with eight homers. He hit more than .290 in each of his three previous seasons.

With files from Reuters

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